National trauma centre ready for future health crisis

The National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre (NCCTRC) in Darwin will receive more than $55 million from the Albanese Labor Government to support its operations.

The Hon Mark Butler MP
Minister for Health and Aged Care

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The National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre (NCCTRC) in Darwin will receive more than $55 million from the Albanese Labor Government to support its operations.
NCCTRC is federally funded under an agreement between the Northern Territory Government and the Australian Government.
The new three-year funding, commencing in July 2024, will allow the NCCTRC to maintain the staff, equipment and resources needed for 24/7 peak preparedness, against a sudden onset health emergency.
The NCCTRC is a key component of the Albanese’s Government’s response to disasters and emergencies. It provides medical assistance in response to sudden onset health emergencies, both natural and man-made, of local, national and international significance.
The centre is located at the Darwin airport and the Royal Darwin Hospital, where it provides trauma and critical care surge capacity in response to mass causality events.
One of its key capabilities is training, coordination and deployment of volunteer personnel to form Australian Medical Assistance Teams, or AUSMAT. As well as international events and disasters, AUSMAT has recently assisted with the Samoan measles epidemic, the Black Summer bushfires in NSW and Victoria, and were a key capability to the COVID-19 pandemic response in Australia and in the region.
In August 2023, NCCTRC Trauma Service provided critical care through the Royal Darwin Hospital to eight US Marines following the MV-22B Osprey crash.
In September 2023, through the NCCTRC, the World Health Organization re-verified AUSMAT for a further 5 years, as an Emergency Medical Team (EMT) Type 2 (Field Hospital). AUSMAT is one the few WHO globally verified Type 1 (Mobile and Fixed response) and Type 2 EMTs in the Asia Pacific region.
NCCTRC is also a specialist trauma medicine hub for northern Australia. It provides an injury prevention program for NT youth and parents, trauma and disaster research, and education for clinicians across Australia, South East Asia and Pacific countries.
NCCTRC was established in 2004 in the aftermath of 2002 Bali bombings. Survivors of the bombings were airlifted to Darwin and received emergency care at Royal Darwin Hospital, and if required, transferred to specialist hospitals across Australia once they were stabilised
Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Mark Butler:
“The National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre in Darwin is a world leader in disaster and health emergency response.
“In an uncertain world, we can never be sure about what lies ahead.
“Thanks to the trauma centre, however, we can be assured that if a major incident occurs here or overseas, affected Australians can get the first rate emergency care they need.”
Quotes attributable to Northern Territory Senator Malarndirri McCarthy
“The National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre plays such an important role in Australia and in the region, on the frontline of disasters and medical emergencies.
“This funding support will allow the Darwin based team, which is recognised around the globe, to continue its important work delivering clinical and academic leadership in disaster and trauma care.”
Quotes attributable to Federal Member for Solomon Luke Gosling OAM:

“This significant investment by the Federal Labor Government is in addition to a second CareFlight helicopter and second CareFlight aeromedical jet delivered in the Territory as part of an election commitment, ensuring year-round rescue and medivac coverage across the region.

“The additional jet has strengthened the National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre’s capacity to respond to local and regional emergencies, underpinning the importance of Darwin as an aeromedical hub and centre of excellence.

“I was in Dili for ANZAC Day where I visited several non-government organisations and spoke to people on the ground. The knowledge sharing led by the NCCTRC with the support of the Commonwealth through the Regional Engagement Program is strengthening the country’s healthcare capacity and the preparedness of the community to manage and respond to disasters and health emergencies. This funding will ensure this important collaborative work is able to continue.”
Quotes attributable to Professor Len Notaras, Executive Director of the National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre: 
“I am delighted that the Australian Government has chosen to continue to support the NCCTRC by providing funding us to continue our important work in health emergency response for the next 3 years.”
“Over the last 19 years the NCCTRC and the Australian Government have built a strong partnership which has made Australia a global leader in health emergency response.”



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